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M. Brandon Smith
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Merck Failed To Warn-$51 Million Awarded

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In the second federal Vioxx trial, a New Orleans jury awarded Gerald Barnett $51 million in compensatory and punitive damages after finding Vioxx contributed to his heart attack in July of 2002. The jury found Merck and Co., “knowingly misrepresented or failed to disclose information” about the drug to Barnett’s doctors. $50 million was given for compensatory damages and $1 million for punitive which are only awarded when a defendant has acted in a wanton, malicious, willful, or reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s rights and well-being. On the federal level, the score is now tied with one verdict in favor of Merck and one verdict for the Plaintiff.